Tyrann Mathieu will be considered as “damaged goods” to some NFL teams. In fact, most will likely cross him off their draft boards.
The embattled LSU star was arrested in Baton Rouge for marijuana possession along with Jordan Jefferson and other ex-LSU players. Chalk up another incident to Mathieu’s clouded drug history, having failed multiple tests throughout his career.
The Honey Badger's fall from grace was described fittingly by "The SEC Logo":
Less than a year ago Tyrann Mathieu was sitting in New York with Richardson, Ball, Luck & RG3...— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) October 26, 2012
Pro Football Talk suggests talk Mathieu’s next move is to enter the NFL Draft, as LSU is unlikely to bring him onto the team next season. The draft isn’t his end game, however; Mathieu’s troubled past will scare off many potential NFL employers from the get-go.
A few NFL teams, though, will see through the trouble and recognize the talent. When you have the goods in the National Football League, somebody is always willing to take a chance. Not saying it’s the smart move, but high-risk, high-reward picks can be gold nuggets depending on the situation.
Here are the three teams that would take on Mathieu as a project.
The “Bungles” were my knee-jerk reaction to taking on such an polarizing figure in the Honey Badger.
Owner Mike Brown and Coach Marvin Lewis have no problem taking on “rehabilitation” projects, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They have several starters on their defense with checkered histories, with many becoming established pros.
There’s no telling if Adam Jones, Vontaze Burfict or Carlos Dunlap could be mentors for Mathieu to lean on, but they couldn’t hurt.
St. Louis Rams
Perhaps Jeff Fisher wouldn’t want too many former marijuana arrests huddled in his secondary, but the Rams coaching staff has already made a player out of Janoris Jenkins, who many have compared to Mathieu.
The combination of tough coaches and a strong leader in Cortland Finnegan have given Jenkins a second chance to shine.
Could this team do it again with the Honey Badger? That would certainly be one talented troupe of defensive backs to game-plan for.
Of course, this possibility is contingent on Andy Reid staying put in Philly.
The Eagles don’t mind taking on troubled stars; look no further than their quarterback. Mathieu would be thrust into a winning culture that would give him no choice but to improve his life. Plus, if he slips up, the Philadelphia crowd will let him have it, that’s for sure.
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter Follow @TheRealShiek